Cloud Computing is a new technological computing model that is affordable, accessible, and free of maintenance. Cloud computing allows small organizations to access large scale computing technologies as used by firms such as Google. Cloud computing is especially advantageous because of the mass storage and memory available, its reliability and affordability. However, to benefit optimally from this technology proper planning within and without the cloud is necessary. There are three basic levels of cloud computing Iaas (infrastructure as a service), SaaS (software as a service), and PaaS (platform as a service). Iaas is the lowest level while the Saas level offers the end user a flexible applicable. PaaS is an intermediary of the two levels.
Furthermore, there are certain preparations that must be taken into consideration prior to use of cloud computing methodologies. An in-depth analysis of the existing network, infrastructure, and applications is necessary. The availability of new and updated software with moderate bandwidths can facilitate both cloud and grid computing. An organization with a high degree of automation with minimal media breaks is an added advantage for firms wishing to use cloud-computing methods.
Firms should carry out critical analyses of the potential benefits and associated costs that may accompany the use of cloud computing technology. An analytical comparison of the pros and cons, including the gains that a company might get from the grid and cloud computing, should be done. However, businesses should understand that use of cloud computing methodologies is much like purchasing an asset. It may take a significant amount of time before substantial returns are sustained. Cloud computing methods used should be able to support the firm’s strategies and goals.
The decision to utilize cloud and grid computing by a firm requires the final decision to be in the hands of the top-level management. This is because the projects have a long shelf life and are costly. All the risks associated with these technologies should be tabled and compared to the current deficiencies in the firm. A parallel comparison with the expected returns and associated investment costs should also be presented. The estimated duration of the project should be taken into account. If the management decides to go forward with the project, a representative should be selected to be the project manager and overseer (Furht and Escalante, 2010).
The importance of planning is to have a simulation of the actual events that might unfold, and hence prepare accordingly in the event that they do occur. One way of implementing the plans is through running a pilot project to observe the general effects of the new technology on the normal business activities, and even efficiency. As with any new system, monitoring is important so as to have knowledge on technical performance and strategic alignment of the project to the firm‘s activities and goals.
The service provider should also provide IT governance to users as concerns the management of the cloud or grid. Rules should be set up or revised as concerns the deployment of external IT infrastructure. This may even include a revision of privacy and security policies that are usually maintained by the IT department. During the initial phase of the project, departments and employees that will be affected by the project should be identified. As the project proceeds, sufficient communication with the necessary authorities is necessary. This may be through regular face-to-face meetings or via emails. After the project has stabilized, the service provider should provide support activities to guide employees on the use and maintenance of the new technological solution (Grid and Cloud Computing, 2010).
Furht, B., & Escalante, A. (2010). Handbook of Cloud Computing. New York: Springer.
Grid and Cloud Computing. (2010). New York: Springer Berlin Heidelberg.